If you are trying to find sense in the political jungle around you, don’t try. Not because there isn’t one, but because you may discover something you will like even less.
Are you living under stress? Were you confused and troubled about the future before the pandemic, and now even more? Climate change? The death of science? The spill over of water on the edge of a flat Earth? Don’t worry, humanity has endured and survived many such low points. You don’t care about humanity, you care about yourself and your loved ones? That too is not a problem. Every person, from whatever party, is part of humanity. You will survive. Perhaps.
In the midst of continuous “tectonic shocks” in society, political campaigns are becoming a way of life. Tectonic shocks in seismology are the most destructive type of earthquakes.
The ‘seismology” of Macedonian politics knows many types of shocks. The three-decade Macedonian state is as if it is lured in elections, which is a shock for the system also for many more stable, more elaborate and more developed democracies, let alone for a small, poor country from the Western Balkans. What is the Macedonian election history?
ULTRA SHORT ELECTION HISTORY
Since the beginning of the Macedonian plural democracy we have had 10 parliamentary elections (as if we were a 40-year-old country, and we just celebrated 30 years of independence). The first multi-party elections were held in 1990. That was perhaps the most romantic election process, though extremely naïve, especially compared to the kind of government (supposedly expert) that this first plural democratic vote brought us of voters who had just come out of a one-party political system. And all others that came after, to make the story short.
The early parliamentary elections brought us the greatest problem. Five out of ten parliamentary elections were early – 2008, 2011, 2014, 2016 and 2020 (announced in 2019).
We also had six presidential and seven local elections (together with the upcoming ones on October 17).
BIG REFERENDUM TROUBLES
We also had referendums. After the biggest and most important Independence Referendum in 1991, there were quite a number of referendums that followed, successful and unsuccessful. Then the unsuccessful Referendum for Ilirida was organized in 1992, and the same year, the attempt to declare the Republic of Vevcani was marked with the same failure.
There were no significant attempts for referendums until 2001, when, a day after the signing of the Ohrid Framework Agreement, the then Prime Minister and one of the signatories of the Agreement called for a referendum for its annulment. Yet again, an unsuccessful attempt.
Then came referendums against the newly-proposed territorial division in 2014, against the baroque facades of GTC City Shopping Center (2015) and against the “Mines of Death” in six municipalities in the southeast region (2016).
The fifteen municipal initiatives of VMRO-DPMNE for local referendums against the “immigration of hundreds of thousands of refugees from the Middle East” ahead of the local elections in 2017 should be especially noted. The statistics in those days showed that in total there were a bit over 10 refugees registered on the Macedonian territory. Less than the number of initiatives for their persecution.
The referendum with which the country found itself on the bright pages of world history and overcame an almost three-decade absurd dispute, was the Referendum for accepting the Prespa Agreement in 2018. A time when the hybrid attacks against our country were intensifying with a mind-blowing dynamic and are still lasting to this day.
THE CLOCK IS COUNTING DOWN
The clock is counting down to the next “shock”, for a referendum voting on the future of the holy fatherland, when the long fingers will dig into the people’s bread. Familiar? Nevertheless, it is about the local elections.
The seismograph of the Macedonian contemporary political history is in constant trembling movement. It, apart from the frequent election shocks, also notes fierce political and security crises, spectacular scandals, rises and falls that are constantly shaking the ground beneath our feet. You would think we are followed by some curse. (Not to mention the conspiracy theories, they are making our lives on the social networks bitter enough).
After all that said, and even more after all that is implied, it’s no wonder that the Macedonian society is under continuous “election tectonic shocks” or for those who are more inclined to “heroism” – Macedonian election slaughter.
In the Macedonian political “seismology”, no other movements than the ones regarding the sharp and ruthless fight between political parties are known, hence why the election processes are the “main political food” of Macedonian citizens. Life is simply interwoven with messages and events with an indirect or direct electoral context. There is no running away from that.
BATTLE OF LIFE AND DEATH
There is nothing left to do but to conclude that these elections too are being led in a “life and death” manner, like all others until now. These elections are also especially important for the opposition parties that are mainly rightist, and some even ultranationalist. They do no choose the means to win a vote, because their bosses will not bear another defeat.
As one party leader of an ultranationalist right-wing party with an inappropriate name would say – there is yet to be “heads rolling” after the elections. In this case, it refers to “political heads” who, in order to save their position, will declare the tiniest failure of political opponents (read: mortal enemies) as their own victory and will demand early parliamentary elections.
Good luck to us.
Translation: N. Cvetkovska